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Discussion Starter #1
I've been working on clicker training my three month Aussie at home (she starts working with our trainer after her original puppy consultation in a few weeks) and she's catching on to everything super quick. At this point, she can sit, shake, lay down, put her head down, come and wait for a treat/food/water. But for whatever reason, she's really struggling with stay. She's shown herself to be a bit velcro already, and wants to follow us whenever we get up or move.

To train her with stay, so far I've had her sit, then give the command for stay. Even if she just sat there for a few seconds, I clicked and rewarded and tried to up her time staying. She was doing fine...until I started to move away. What's the best thing to do to fix this? Thanks!
 

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Personally, I don't use the cue 'stay'. They sit or down until released. I meant to teach the stay cue, but I found it really difficult to communicate to them what it meant, so I didn't bother.

Anyway, I wouldn't use a clicker for teaching it, assuming that your click ends the behaviour. Then of course she will get up as soon as you click, because the click is the release. I usually use a verbal marker when I don't want to end the behaviour, like 'good' or 'yes'. It's the same meaning as the click, but it doesn't release them. It's like "good, but keep doing it".

If she wants to move when you move, you have to make your movement smaller. Start by stepping to the side. If you step back or forward (depending on where the dog is) she might think you want her to follow. So if the dog is sitting on your left, you can move your right leg out to the side. Mark and reward if she remains sitting. If she doesn't, try only leaning slightly to the right, making smaller movements. Make the movement small enough that she is able to stay sitting.

Do that at least 10 times, not necessarily all in the same session. When you are able to do it 10 times in a row without her getting up, make the movement slightly bigger. Or, if you were stepping to the right, try moving your leg at a different angle, like forward slightly.

With each new step, she should be able to succeed 10 times in a row before you make it harder for her. By spending a lot of time on the most basic stuff, you build a really strong foundation, which will make things easier in the long run. Once you get to about 10-15 steps, you can increase the distance by a few steps at a time, and quicker, because you have a strong foundation.
 

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I don't use clicker to stay either, but do use the cue and a release word. Either way, if as soon as you move the pup breaks the stay it quite simply means you've upped the ante too far for the level of the pup. How many seconds of the stay can you get when you are stationary? What release word have you taught and how did you teach it?

We teach stay in class as 1: teach a release word..which means ask for a sit, get the sit, one second count, say release word and move to get pup moving, THEN reward. You actually teach the release before you build the stay. Repeat ten times or so.

2: gradually up duration of the stay before the release word. Start with count of three, move up to ten or so seconds and THEN do a drop the leash, pick up the leash, release (leash drop is a distraction that doesn't involve lots of movement) building back up to ten seconds. Then go to movement of the human (step away, step back towards pup) but it is important at this time to drop the other criteria (back to 1-3 seconds). Each time you up a criteria (distance, distraction or duration) the other two must drop and be built back up....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I tried having Ruby stay using only the release word this morning and it worked like a charm! Made it halfway across the room in no time. Thanks!
 
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